Oil spill training exercise at Port of Tauranga
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 2:00 p.m.
An oil spill training exercise was held at the Port of Tauranga yesterday to help maintain and build oil spill response capability amongst first responders at New Zealand’s largest port.
One iwi representative and staff from Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Waikato Regional Council, Maritime New Zealand and a range of port-based companies, including Mobil Oil NZ and Sanford Limited, attended the training.
“We do this twice a year with advice from Maritime New Zealand staff to build our capability with industry, iwi and the Port of Tauranga,” said Marine Pollution Prevention Officer and Regional On-Scene Commander Adrian Heays.
“We have a good plan and highly trained multi-agency team in place to respond to spills in the Tauranga Harbour but we’re always learning and building on experience. The focus of yesterday’s exercise was to refine booming plans for the Port wharf areas so that on-site staff can make sure they’re ready to deploy the most effective first response possible,” Mr Heays said.
“Booming in heavy weather conditions will always have limitations but yesterday’s trial in calm conditions and westerly wind with an incoming tide worked well. We are encouraged to work with the Port and oil industry to see how we can further improve the site for oil containment and oil recovery in the future,” Mr Heays said.
Maritime New Zealand is responsible for maintaining a nationwide capability to respond to marine oil spills of any size. The oil industry is responsible for putting plans in place to prevent oil spills from their activities, and deliver an effective first response in the event of an accidental spill.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council supports Maritime New Zealand and the oil industry by maintaining plans, equipment and trained responders to manage medium sized spills with localised effects.